Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55 | Brooklyn Brewery

1,512 Ratings
Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-06-2001

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Reviews: 617 | Ratings: 1,512
Photo of woodychandler
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was really surprised when I realized that I had not previously reviewed this beer. It seems to strengthen my case for the reduction & eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, like my intending to review all of these beers when I brought them home.

From the bottle: "Pennant Ale is brewed from Scottish Maris Otter malt, which is justly prized for its toasty, biscuity flavor and the round smoothness it imparts. Out house ale yeast brings out an appetizing fruitiness and ferments to a dry finish."

I Pop!ped the cap and gently set it aside. Next up was a gentle pour as I did not want to rouse any lees that may have flocculated out while the bottle awaited its turn. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised two fingers of dense, foamy, tawny head with excellent retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with deep amber highlights and NE-quality clarity. Nose had an earthy, biscuity quality, just what I would expect in the style. Mouthfeel was medium to full, big for the style. The taste was more earthy than toasty/biscuity, but not so far from the mark that I would dun them for false advertising. It was definitely malt-driven as I could not discern any hops. Finish was dry, pleasant, easy-drinking. I get why some reviewers were getting down on this - it is a tad on the non-descript side if you are looking for something with Ooomph!, say an American-style beer, but this was nothing more & nothing less than it was supposed to be.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bronze copper brass appearance, mildly pale malt aroma.

This just showcases some pale malts, perfect bland beer for crossover status. Smooth, wishes it was cask ale. Give this to the old guy who talks about how it used to be.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

caramel and malt aroma, crystal clear amber, 2 finger foam, nice ale, excellent balance with the malt and hops, excellent ale, caramel malt flavors balance the hops.

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Photo of barczar
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grain and light floral notes surface in aroma and carry through into the flavor, with a fairly bitter finish. Crackery malt, and there's a bit of a tangy/metallic character.

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Photo of Retroman40
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

I was pleasantly surprised after pouring this from a 12 oz bottle. The color was a rich, nutty brown with a decent off white head. The aroma was very malty with just a hint of hops. The taste backed up the aroma with a nice caramel malty flavor with just a hint of sweetness in the finish. The mouth feel was rich and the carbonation level very good. I would recommend this one to any fan of English style pale ales.

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Photo of jps0869
1.93/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank on-tap at the local Flying Saucer. Appearance is a hazy, nondescript copper, with a white head that creates no lacework and has little retention. Nose is watery, with notes of corn. Tastes like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be when it grew up: an English ale? A pint of Yeungling? As other reviewers have noted, hop and malt characteristics are poorly matched, as if someone had blended a so-so lager with an ale. Although some of the characteristics might have been likeable in a more balanced beer, it's less than the sum of its parts. I did not enjoy it at all and would certainly not try it again.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From a mix-and-match six pack. In a dimpled beer mug, graded to ESB, 2008 BJCP #8C.

Appearance: Pours a light copper/dark amber with 1/2" light tan head. Fades quickly to 1/8"off-white head with noticeable effervescence.

Aroma: Beery. Malty with a citrus note; lemons; black cherry maybe; estery (for a pale ale).

Taste: Somewhat bland & sour/tart, I expected more maltiness. Clean, dry, light arrival. Sour and ever so slightly bitter across mid-palate. Clean, crisp, dry finish. Weird "tinny" character on the finish, like a shiny penny.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-midweight. Perfect effervescence, not too strong, not too flat.

Overall: I love English ales, but something about this is just not my cup of beer. This has a light, tart quality that I am not expecting from an English ale, but it is maltier than I would want a summertime backyard barbecue beer.

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Photo of Zetcha7x
3.37/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz single purchased from Wegman's in Collegeville, PA. BB date of June '14. Appropriately (or inappropriately) poured into an '09 NY Yankees World Series Champions pint glass.

A-crisp, clear golden/orangish color. ton of bubbles. solid finger of white foam, decent retention. looks refreshing and tasty. good amount of lacing left on the glass.

S-citrus. some bready notes. I don't detect a whole lot. no hop aroma.

T-toasted flavor. some caramel malts. lemony/sour finish

M-light bodied. little carbonation-which is strange given the continuous bubbles rising. very smooth, creamy texture.

O-easy to drink. low ABV. smooth and refreshing. These factors make this a very drinkable ale. however...there is nothing that makes it stand out. definitely wont satisfy those looking for the big hop flavor. not a favorite, but could see myself putting another back as I'm grilling after work.

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Photo of rangerred
3.32/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap in a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper with really no head to speak of and absolutely no lacing at all. Pretty poor all-around.

Aroma is caramel and toffee along with a touch of dark fruit. Maybe a little grass from the hops.

The flavor closely follows the smell. Very malt heavy with toffee and a bit of roast. Dark fruits are prominent as well. Medium bitterness with some hay and grass. Sticky finish is a little more than I was expecting.

Overall, I'm not very impressed with this one. There are some ice flavors buried in there but it is a little muddy overall and a bit too sticky.

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Photo of Premo88
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(best before date: December 2013; drinking it right now, Jan. 23, 2014)

L: I've tried this beer in pub glasses, but I wanted to give it the best chance for pushing up a head, so into the tulip it went -- clear brown/amber brew topped by a solid 1-inch head of offwhite that dissipates quickly but *does* stick just a bit. i had to pour it hard to get this head, and it still is a bit weak; the collar is there but not tight, instead loose with big huge bubbles. the right color but an average pour/head.

S: fruity, leaning toward peach; plenty of sweet bread malt notes, at times a bit yeast, typically more buttery; muted grain (i.e., sour piss -- could be a casualty of this beer's age, which is a month past the BB date)

T: fine facsimile of the fruity sweet English pale ale with just enough English hops to offer some bitter; more peach/sweet fruit and a bit watery compared to the stronger malt presence normally found in the English pale ale

F: good ... very good, very drinkable with enough carbonation hanging around after that sloshy hard pour I gave it; the "watery" is more in the taste than the feel

O: would LOVE to try a fresher one, but all in all this ain't a bad version of the English pale ale -- it hits enough of the right notes with the sweet/bitter mix of fruity and bready malts on top of the spicy/peppery English hops; too much peach in it for me, and it's buttery enough to feel more like an English brown ale.

bottom line: Brooklyn is 3 for 3 with me (Pennant, Brown, Summer) ... this brew is solid and it might be just enough different from Brooklyn's Summer Ale (also an English pale ale) to offer some legitimate variety. and as always, Brooklyn gets a little bonus bump from me for brewing up an authentic English style.

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Photo of Act25
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A decent ale, very English, and tastes steam age more than 1955.
maybe it's steam punk. Best on draft.
All Brooklyn beers are better on tap than in the bottle, this one drinking really nicely at Carmines on 200 W 44 St.

Because it's slightly metallic, kind of old iron and wood bleacher seats.

A A rich amber yellow ale color with thick head that lasts and laces medium. Well carbonated the head returns with a swirl.

S Beery grain notes, grass, more malt than hops.

T Follows smell. Summery. Grain, grass, malt, finishing clean, but I find it slightly metallic.

F Not a lot going on, and an imperfect finish compared to more bitter, dry, interesting ales.

Not much here compared to great APAs like Troegs or Dales.

I'm a new yorker who's lived a decade in SF/Cupertino so I love the best of both coasts.

You gotta love the Brooklyn Giants that are now the SF Giants.

You gotta try the home field Pennant Ale that is a throwback to what ales in the 50s were all about. Kind of like the old BALLENTINE ALE I remember as a kid.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Medium amber. Slightly hazy. Short white head, not persistent.

Smell - Toasty pale malt. Bread and a little caramel.

Taste - Sweet malts most prominent. Bread or toast and light citrus.

Mouthfeel - Medium and well carbonated.

Overall - Awfully drinkable, but not especially distinctive.

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Photo of rjcohen
3.44/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Was excited for this one - Brooklyn's flagship lager is one of my very favorite beers out there. Here we go.

Pairing: crackers spread with homemade spicy mustard - my favorite beer pairing is a good ale with some spicy food.

Appearance: Deep copper-ish, almost an apple juice-like color. Lots of carbonation, bubbles were moving around from the get-go. Thin head but faded very slowly and gradually, leaving nothing on the glass - it was mostly carbonation foam, like in a soda.

Smell: An unexpected but very pleasant aroma - quite malty, a little fruity and increasingly toasty as it traveled up the nose. Less hoppy than probably any ale I've tried.

Taste: The primary flavor is pretty toasty - hoppy in a way, although the level of bitterness in the beer is quite low overall. A definite sour taste just underneath it towards the back of the mouth fades quickly, but these two flavors hit different parts of the mouth and form a very pleasant combination. Still, flavor is not as complex as other pale ales. Aftertaste is minimal, so flavor is not given much of a chance to evolve.

Mouthfeel: The biggest thing that you feel upon drinking this beer is the high level of carbonation, as you would have expected after watching it be poured. I'm not a huge fan of this, but it will depend on your personal preferences. Goes down smooth, though. Very refreshing and drinkable.

Overall: This is not a very bitter ale, and is not for a big hops fan. But I did enjoy it. The flavor was not as complex as other pale ales, but what it had was quite enjoyable. An extremely sessionable ale, as it is refreshing, goes down smooth and leaves you wanting more - plus the relatively simple flavor means you won't miss too much if you get a little drunker. Not quite one of my favorites, but I would definitely drink this again if I was in the mood.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As baseball season is headed to the playoffs, I crack this brew in honor of the Red Sox clinching a playoff spot and inching closer to wrapping up the division and A.L. pennant in the upcoming weeks. 12 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles can be seen coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel, bready, and fruity notes.

Taste: Nice toasted and caramel malts, fruitiness, and some lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, smooth, low to medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: Pretty average EPA.

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Photo of stacket1
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Finished an outdoor meal in baltimore harbor with this sessional

Appearance: nice straw colored, cloudier than expected

Smell: limited perception due to small ABV

taste: Light, grassy, sweet, hints of citrus

Mouthfeel: thin, after initial taste, went down quickly.

Overall: decent sessional, easy to drink more than one, but one won't leave much of an impression or leave you wanting more.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

DATE TASTED: August 9, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... OCCASION: home alone--meeting the family in Point Pleasant tomorrow... APPEARANCE: swirling activity below a two-finger thick froth that paints (rather than laces) the glass the body is a burnt orange with steady effervescence--drop-dead gorgeous , and only a foot away!... AROMA: smooth, malty base with a bit of bready dough that mellows the secondary citric kick with a surprising apple scent--otherwise, reserved, as an ESB might behave... PALATE: understated, almost buttery smooth with little resistance from teeth to throat--a bit watery...TASTE: a basically thin malt profile pervades; typical doughy funk intertwines with buttery notes and a bit of toast--not feeling this one as impactful or winning a specific category... OVERALL: Plusses include its attractive pour and easy sipping nature; negatives (if there is such a thing for Brooklyn brew) is its paper-thin fortitude and rather doughy aftertaste...bearing the "pennant" moniker, this beer should be more of a success that its name suggests; as it is, this beer is merely serviceable, but a lesser player in the mix pack than I hoped. I was surprised at the more favorable rating afforded by other reviewers, but I will stick with my experience...

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Photo of xnicknj
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at tattooed moms - served in pint

Bright, clear copper-auburn color with a one-finger cropping of beige head resting on top. Rings of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Doughy malts, caramel sweetness and a dash of citric hops in the nose.

Soft snap of hops with orange peel up front, ushering in a smooth, malty background. Toasted bread crust, doughy biscuits, caramel and nice sweetness level. Finishes clean with a dash of hop bitterness.

Medium body, nice carbonation, chewy and brisk on the tongue. Drinkable EPA with a nice balance and tempered sweetness level. Definitely would drink this again, especially at $3 a pint.

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Photo of Mavigo
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint.

A: Pours a clear copper color with a short off white head with minimal lacing.

S: Light aroma, wheat, woody, grains, grass, herbs, malts, yeast, barley

T: Mellow flavor, wheat, grains, spices, herbs, malts, kind of grassy

M: Medium bodied with a bit too much carbonation, a bit unbalanced, adds crispness but masks flavor

O: Overall, this was a good ale, though it does not really stand out, kind of run of the mill. I could drink it in bulk and I'd probably have it again though I don't know if I would seek it out myself again.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “BB” date printed on the neck is “SEP 2013.”

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass. The color is pale copper and a finger of dense, buttery, off-white head dissipated slowly and a little unevenly.

Smell: Wow. A chewy and enticing blend of bready, grassy malts (reminiscent of Czech pilsner) and caramel. As the beer warms, scents of toffee, molasses, and peat emerge.

Taste: Though the smells is more pilsner-like, the taste is much like a Scotch ale. Toasted malts, caramel, toffee, peat (which may just end up being a handful of smoked malt — or the Scottish Maris Otter malt mentioned on the beer’s webpage), a little molasses, and licorice.

Drinkability: This beer is solid. It offers great flavor and is very drinkable.

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Photo of IPAdams
2.95/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance- Clear amber with a half inch head that recedes quickly, no lacing on glass.

Smell- Smell of Pilsner malt with a little bit of spice, similar smell to Anchor Steam.

Taste- Almost exactly like Anchor Steam but a little more spice character to it. Somewhat subdued flavor, almost no hop presence.

Mouthfeel- Medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall- Extremely similar to Anchor Steam, if you like that then you should try it. Personally, not a big fan of it. Not very flavorful but does have some spice to it.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Copper color with mild carbonation and decent head. Fruit and vegetable notes with a bit of sweetness in the aroma. Tastes similar to how it smells with a bit more complexity, spiciness and a hint of malt. Unfortunately this beer has a bit too many vegetable notes for us.

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Photo of puckinright
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle marked Sept 2013 enjoy by into standard tulip glass. Deep, but very alive, amber pour with a 2 finger creamy head. Aroma of biscuits, nuts, and maybe licorice(?). Very nice malt up front, but well balanced with a crisp & bright hop finish. The malt leaves a lingering stickiness. Fresh bread, biscuit with a crisp finish that tends to linger. Exceptionally well balanced. Highly sessionable. A great rendition of an English pale ale.

Cheers mate.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.6/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From twelve ounce bottle freshness dated for September 2013.

Aroma of flowery malt and bread. Pours deep orange/amber body with a finger of white foamy head. Head does not last long but dissipates into a thin white film on top of beer. Taste is bready, slightly datelike followed by a crisp bite. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark golden copper with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissipated into a thin coating of wispy foam that covered the beer.

Aroma: Lots of malt! Very bready, with some floral notes like heather and clover; possibly hay. Caramel and melted butter. Very nice.

Taste: Lots of malt up front and more freshly baked bread, followed by some sweet caramel and floral notes which is then nicely balanced by some nice hops at the back end, with a long finish. Very crisp, very clean, very damn good! Excellent in fact!

Mouthfeel: slightly on the thin side, with some nice carbonation to cleanse the palate and tickle and awaken the taste buds.

Overall: This is a great American pale ale. Crisp, clean, full of flavor, with a long finish, and nicely balanced between the malt and the hops.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours orange amber with good clarity and a head of off white foam that fell fast & left just a little lace behind. Bubbles up bombing from the bottom. Nose is classic and very understated. Strong and steady malt base, biscuit, caramel and toast. Hops are subtle citrus, pine & floral. With the smallest hint of yeast on the nose the balance is fantastic and appetizing.Taste is delicious. Smooth, buttery, mellow. Toast and biscuit, the malt opens up deeply sweet and round. The hops are not the star here. Not much bitterness just the slightest oily touch in the finish and no aftertaste. Very mild with apple and grass as it opens up. This is a very simple and quiet English Pale Ale that is true to the style, graceful and full.

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Brooklyn Pennant Ale '55 from Brooklyn Brewery
3.62 out of 5 based on 1,512 ratings.
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